The Guinness Storehouse Tour
All photos are Copyrighted B. Zehner, K. Zehner
Yes, I was just a little bit excited about this tour. We decided to go to the Guinness Storehouse after we checked out of our hotel on Sunday morning and before we headed west towards Galway.
I had purchased the tickets ahead of our trip but the first time we had tried to go on Friday night the tour was closed for a special Penn State event so they handed out free passes. When we arrived on Sunday I mentioned this to the attendee and she quickly directed me and Ben to the line agent we needed to see to get a refund for the ones we purchased online. We were then able to use the free ones instead. Guinness Tour = Free! Can't beat that. So yeah I was pretty excited.
The tour is a must if you travel to Dublin, even if you do not like Guinness. (Gasp, don't let them hear that) I must admit I had only tried Guinness once before but who knew that my first tasting was done all wrong. I know what you're thinking, lots of educational stuff. Aren't we immersed in that history in Ireland already? Sure. I get it but this tour is different. It takes you up the seven levels of a cleverly built Guiness glass where each level is dedicated to different parts of the process. You learn about the water used (Guinness was very particular about this), the hops, the barley, how it was transported in the past as compared to today, you get to learn how to taste and pour a Guiness and then at the end you will enjoy the fruits of your labor in a 360 degree view within The Gravity Bar that overlooks Dublin. Can we say, "Free Guinness"? You bet we can. Hands down this tour is AWESOME!
I learned the correct way to pour a Guinness from a tap in six simple steps.
Step One: Use The Guinness Glass Whenever Possible
I learned that is best to use an actual Guinness glass as the tulip shape of the glass the nitrogen bubbles to flow down the sides of the glass. We bought a pair of glasses at the Guinness store. Sure, we don't have a tap but you never know when this technique may come in handy. Have glasses, will travel?
Step Two: The Proper Angle
The glass should be held at a 45-degree angle right under the tap.
Step Three: The Pour
Pulling the tap towards you, let the beer flow slowly into the glass. Fill it up three-quarters of the way. On the Guinness glass it is just below the golden harp. See? Told you those glasses are handy to have!
Step Four: The Head
Just let it be. Take a step back. Observe its goodness. As the beer sits the bubbles will even out creating the beginning of a nice head on top.
Step Five: It is Time to Top Off Your Beer
Once it settles, you will want to fill up the glass and top it off. This time you will push the tap away from you. The allows the maximum amount of nitrogen and gives that awesome heady finish.
Step Six: The First Sip
Take it all in. As we learned in the tasting area you should always go slow. Relax. Good things are happening!
The proper way to taste a Guinness:
Hold your arm with your elbow out so your forearm is horizontal with the glass. You should have a 90 degree angle. It looks funny but it is the way to go apparently.
Take a gulp big enough to break through the foam and get a taste of the beer beneath it. Let it swish all around your mouth before you swallow. This will ensure your first taste of Guinness is perfect and not too bitter.
Also, did you know that Guinness in Dublin tastes a little bit sweeter?
You Really Must Go Here
If you are fortunate enough to be in Ireland, make a stop to the Guinness Storehouse. Your inner beer geek will love the tour, the steps involved in pouring this stout, and the bonus drink from the best view of Dublin.